HTML5 best practice Web apps: Quartz

David Jensen is the head of development at popular UK free newspaper Metro. He has overseen the migration of to become a responsively-designed web app. With his first-hand experience of HTML5 and web apps, mobiThinking asked Jensen about his favourite web app (other than Metro). He recommends Quartz, from Atlantic Media. It’s a news service for businessmen, launched in 2012, designed first and foremost for tablets and mobile phones.

David Jensen is speaking at the HTML5 conference at Apps World, in London, 12-13 November 2014, readers get a 15 percent discount with the code “MOBI15”.

Image shows: Quartz from Atlantic Media is a news service for businessmen. Designed first and foremost for mobile devices, it was the first ton introduce the infinite scroll format.

1) What is your favourite HTML5-based mobile site or Web app?
Quartz (

2) What does it do? What is its function/purpose? What sort of site is it?
Quartz is a content website for business. It was the first to go infinite article scroll and base the entire editorial and commercial approach around this. It is a responsive mobile web app.
3) What distinguishes this pin-up from other sites – in terms of overall effect? What does HTLM5 allow this site/Web app to deliver that non-html5 or native apps don’t.
It runs off WordPress, but the entire front end is abstracted into a JavaScript web app that is optimised for the user reading content without having to think. HTML5 allows it to deliver the unique experience of endless article scrolls in sync with side navigation that can be used offline.
4) Which features stand out particularly in terms of best-practice?
The site is completely API driven so front end is its own JavaScript web app. It is a simple concept with everything executed well and about two years ahead of everyone else with regards to thoughts and approach.

5) Which features stand out for cutting-edge innovation? Please explain what’s great about them.
You can browse a large set of articles offline after reading just one, due to the JSON [JavaScript Object Notation] being stored locally on the device.
6) Which features stand out for excellent user interface/experience? Please explain what’s great about them.
Infinite scroll always gives the user something else to browse onto and engage without making them think or putting a load of rubbish in the way.
7) As well as being an HTML5 success story is it also a hit with the end users? Are there any stats to back this up?
Yes, Quartz has grown to 5 to 8 million unique visitors a month and delivers good revenues due to their targeting of a well-paid demographic.
8) Is there anything that you would have done differently? Or would suggest that this site might do to improve the site further in the future?

9) What other tips can you offer companies that are considering HTML5 development?
Less is more when it comes to what you are trying to achieve – it’s much better to do a few things really well than a lot of things half baked. Work within the constraints of the web; as people are used to how the Web works and have embraced its constraints.

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